Originally Posted by andyb39
It might be an idea to consult David James on this - you can contact him at [email protected]
. He was very helpful indeed with my own chance sighting of CIF in Malaysia.
I thought it might be rare in Taiwan but I didn't know it would be that
rare. However, your images are of a very high quality and clearly show the diagnostic breast tabs.
I wonder if this has anything to do with Cyclone Amphang. There have been numerous sightings of pelagic species quite far inland in West Bengal over the last few days - groups of Short-tailed Shearwaters flying up the Hooghly, for example. Our own Seth Miller reported a Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Dhaka!
Thanks again, Andy. Will do!
The impression I got from the paper was that the breast band of juvenile frigatebirds gradually breaks down and whitens from the centre, which could then leave isolated 'tabs' on the breast sides in any of these three species in older/worn juvenile plumage. I had no idea that the tabs were considered diagnostic of CIF, but they are there and are indeed 'angled slightly forwards'.
I've attached some more (poorer quality) images which show that the apparent weak 'axillary spur' on the right side of the bird is on the body only and does not reach up onto the underwing. Lesser Frigatebird can at least be eliminated on a combination of this, the large white belly patch, and the rather long bill.
Fascinating to hear of so many Short-tailed Shearwaters way over there in the Bay of Bengal! I've always fancied this to be a cold water species as the birds that pass through here do not hang around at all. I wonder what happens to them? Do they successfully over-summer at that latitude, correct themselves, or just starve?